Spiegazione di voto pronunciata dall’Ambasciatore Sebastiano Cardi, Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, a seguito dell’adozione della Risoluzione per il rinnovo del mandato della missione UNIFIL (Libano) —
Thank you Mr. President,
Italy voted in favour of this resolution to reiterate its firm and unwavering support to a peacekeeping mission that, in a region plagued by conflicts and divisions, contributes, in our view, to maintaining calm and stability for both Lebanon and Israel to enjoy.
Italy is proud to be a member of UNIFIL, a mission whose excellent performance is due to the quality, dedication and bravery of the troops provided by 41 troop-contributing countries.
We understand fully the concerns, the security concerns, relating to the presence of non-authorized weapons in the area of operation and to other violations of resolution 1701 by Hezbollah. However, we strongly caution against blurring the line between duties that, according to resolution 1701, are up to the Government of Lebanon and those that the peacekeepers are tasked with. The responsibilities are very different, and the primary role of the sovereign Government of Lebanon needs to be stressed and respected.
Promoting confusion in that regard undermines UNIFIL’s operations and strips the Lebanese authorities of their own sovereign prerogatives.
Nevertheless, we take note that today this Council has followed its long tradition of unity and consensus on UNIFIL. However, I would like to underline our remaining concerns with regard to the language of OP15, which we have accepted, at the very last minute, to avoid a division of this Council and to keep its unity, which is paramount for us, and also because we are a responsible component of the peacekeeping mission, being its largest troop contributor together with Indonesia.
In any case, as troop contributor, we reserve the right to assess the measures that the Secretary-General may envisage according to what is requested by OP15.
Furthermore, it must be stressed that OP15, as it clearly envisages, is not changing the existing mandate of UNIFIL.
I would like to conclude with a brief comment on the working methods of this Council. As a member of this Security Council, as UNIFIL’s largest troop-contributor with Indonesia, and as the country that has expressed three of the last five Force Commanders of UNIFIL, we would have hoped for more inclusive negotiations. Receiving information or being update from the pen holder, which by the way we thank in any case or from the members involved in the negotiations, is not the same as to allow all 15 members to have a real positive impact on the same very issue. The Security Council should always remember to give due consideration to the views of the troop-contributing countries, whose men and women are actually risking their lives on the ground. This applies not only to UNIFIL, of course, but to all the work we do every day.
As an elected member of this Council, Italy attaches great importance to these principles. More, we think, must be done, and I would like to commend Ambassador Koro Bessho for the work done in relation to working methods, but we think more should be done to reach working methods that can better serve our common purpose.
I thank you, Mr. President.